The Rev. Paul Gordon-Chandler tells of an interfaith effort to bring people together using art. From Episcopal News Service:
The arts may be one of the most effective mediums for building bridges, says the Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler, the Episcopal priest responsible for the journey of 25 life-size painted fiberglass donkeys from Cairo to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, where they will be on display in the south nave aisle until Sept. 23.
The donkey was chosen for the exhibition because in both Christian and Muslim faith traditions it represents peace, Chandler explained. “In a sense, these artists are saying that the way forward for us is in peace. The other thing the donkey represents is compassion. It’s a beast of burden and the poorest of the poor in Egypt use the donkey.”
This year’s exhibition comes at a time when Egypt faces ongoing political turmoil and a rise in sectarian violence.
“Contrary often to what we see in the news about what is coming out of Egypt at this time, which is somewhat tragic, these artists are saying no, there is another alternative – the way forward as far as we see it is in peace and with compassion,” Chandler said.